The Forever Machine by @Chimping_Dandy (375 Words)

The lifter set down in its reserved space just outside the doors of the facility, I killed the engines, powered down the reactor and one by one, the lights on the panel went dark. Leaning over to the other side of the capsule, I grabbed a re-breather from the emergency locker and pulled it over my face, checking the seal against my cheeks and chin.

I opened the lock and stepped out into the biting, methane wind. Indicators on the 'breather's visor told me that the temperature was minus 160C and my life expectancy in the current conditions was a leisurely 38 seconds. I ran over to the doorway, pulled up my sleeve and jammed my forearm into the locking mechanism, the biopsy needle needle took a sample.

Happy that, according to the genetic database at least, I was an authorised visitor, the huge meta-plas doors ground open. The display on the 'Breather read 9 seconds, and I vaulted through the slowly opening gap, punched the emergency door close stud and tore off the mask.

The trip through the deserted corridors took longer than last time, it always took a little longer, every fifty years I made this trip and every fifty years I noticed. Maybe I was getting old. My laugh echoed through the empty corridors and a cloud of my frozen breath followed it.

The lights in the room came on as I entered, all except one, which fluttered and then died. I'd have to report that to the curator when I got back, but for now, I had work to do.

Taking out my tool-roll, I cleared the glass panel of frost so that people could see the face of the hero and his wife entombed within and carefully chipped out the ice from the engraved letters. Once cleared, I read them aloud as I always did.

16/08/1979 - 01/09/2162

I reached into my pocket, pulled out the single lego brick and placed it on top of the sarcophagus as I had done every visit. It joined its thirteen brothers in silence. I gave the glass one more polish and left.

At the door I turned and called, 'Happy Birthday Dude, see you in another fifty years.'

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